Throwing the Three ‘Rs’ Away: Rupert Murdoch, the Referendum and Rangers FC
It has been a dramatic few months in Scottish politics and one which reveals something about our nation and its public life. We have a problem with how we do politics, public conversation and understand power. There is an inability, or more accurately, unwillingness across large swathes of Scottish society, from our political classes and institutional forces to even many of the radical and alternative voices, to confront some of the difficult issues we have to.
This pattern has been evident for decades, but it has become more and more clear with the establishment of the Scottish Parliament and election of SNP Government, first as a minority in 2007, then as a majority in 2011. This is because each of these events upped the stakes about the rhetoric and expectations of change and has illuminated more dramatically the silences, omissions and collusions across Scottish public life.
In this essay I want to explore this general thesis with reference to three recent examples which shed light on this: Rupert Murdoch, the independence referendum, and Rangers FC. I will then explore some of the limitations of Scottish public life, politics and democracy and what can realistically be done in a manner which enriches the prospects for self-government.
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